Tomatoes Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Tomatoes are sweet, juicy, and delicious having several benefits. Everyone knows they are good for health, right? Uh, yeah, sure. Does everyone know specifically why tomatoes are a healthful food? 

They’re low in calories? They’re fat-free? Yes, yes, and yes, but that’s not all!

Tomatoes are non starchy, low calorie and play such an important role in American diet today, that it is impossible to believe that till the 1800’s they were considered toxic. They are sweet and juicy and healthy. Tomatoes are very versatile as they can be eaten as a salad, in a sandwich or as gravy for vegetables – not to forget “the all important sauce.”

Tomato
Let’s look at what makes the tomato an excellent healthy choice

Tomato or the “Love Apple” is a citrus fruit. Tuh-MAY-toh or Tuh-MAH-to? Pronunciation doesn't matter when it comes to this fabulous nutritious fruit known as a vegetable. The English word tomato comes from the Spanish word, tomate, derived from Nahuatl (Aztec language) word, tomatl.

Its botanical name is Solanum lycopersicum, tomatoes originated in America and spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates.

Available year-round in fresh and preserved forms, there is no shortage of uses for this versatile "vegetable." Eating tomatoes is great because this fruit or vegetable (whatever you call it) has plenty of health benefits.


Health Benefits of Tomato
One serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup or 150 grams) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health.


One tomato packs one powerful punch of nutrition, but there’s much more! A single tomato can provide about 40% of daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which acts against cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium as well as iron. 

Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K which is essential in blood clotting and controls bleeding is abundant in tomatoes.


On top of that, one serving of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the daily recommended amount. Tomatoes also have a relatively high water content, which makes them a filling food. In general eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, confers protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease.

Tomatoes are a rich source of potassium; a cup of tomato juice has 534mg of potassium and half a cup of tomato sauce has 454mg of potassium. Physiologically, potassium plays an important role in transmission of nerve signals, fluid balance in the body and many other important chemical reactions. Potassium is used to treat high blood pressure, insulin resistance, chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle weakness, and even bloating and intestinal disorders.

Numerous studies have concluded that the more tomatoes people eat the lower their risks of certain cancers, especially lung, stomach and prostate cancers.Studies have shown that tomato can reduce prostate cancer especially in synergy with broccoli. 

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that ‘the intake of tomatoes and tomato products is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. A substance called lycopene, which is responsible for tomatoes red color, is thought to be the reason for this cancer protective effect. 

Processed tomatoes contain even more lycopene than raw ones. The process of cooking breaks down the cell walls, helping to release the lycopene. Eating tomatoes with a little bit of fat, such as olive oil, helps lycopene to be better absorbed by the body.

Improves Vision: Vitamin A, present in tomato aids in improving vision, preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration. Because of all that vitamin A, tomatoes are also an excellent food to help improve your vision. This also means tomatoes can help your eyes be better about night blindness.

Tomatoes will even make your hair look better.The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong and shiny. (Sorry, tomatoes cannot help much with thinning hair—but they will make the hair you have look better!

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